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Books about travel

Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark
An Odyssey to Mount Ararat and Beyond

Mount Ararat is the most fabled mountain in the world. For millennia this massif in eastern Turkey has been rumored to be the resting place of Noah ’s Ark following the Great Flood. But it also plays a significant role in the long-standing conflict between Turkey and Armenia.

Author Rick Antonson joined a five-member expedition to the mountain’s nearly 17,000-foot summit, trekking alongside a contingent of Armenians, for whom Mount Ararat is the stolen symbol of their country. Antonson mixes vivid historical anecdote with unexpected travel vignettes, whether tracing earlier mountaineering at- tempts on the peak, recounting the genocide of Armenians and its unresolved de- bate, or depicting the Kurds’ nationalist ambitions for their own borders, which some say should include Mount Ararat.

What unfolds in Full Moon over Noah’s Ark is one man’s odyssey, a tale told through many stories. Starting with the flooding of the Black Sea in 5600 BCE, through to the Epic of Gilgamesh and the contrasting narratives of the Great Flood known to fol- lowers of the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic religions, Full Moon over Noah’s Ark takes readers along with Antonson through the shadows and broad landscapes of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Armenia, shedding light on a troubled but fascinating area of the world.

Quotes:

“It’s not just about the journey, or standard travel writing. It’s about story- telling, and Rick takes us on a magical, almost mystical adventure to destinations once only shrouded in mythology.”
Peter Greenburg, travel editor, CBS News

“A book filled with the enthusiasm of discovery, the delight in accomplishment, and the relief of return.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Packed with historical facts and anecdotes, enhanced by excellent maps and photos, this is a fascinating travel adventure to one of the most ancient areas of the world . . . A reader’s feast that is not to be missed.”
John A. Cherrington, author of Walking to Camelot

“This is one of those rare books, full of emotion and insight, the work of a true traveler.”
Dina Bennett, author of Peking to Paris

“An educational, amusing and inspiring tale told by an experienced and worldly traveler . . . a fabulous weaving of adventure and research.”
Shannon Stowell, president of Adventure Travel Trade Association


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To Timbuktu for a Haircut:
A Journey Through West Africa

Publication Date: May 2008

Timbuktu is the legendary African city known as a land of scholars, splendour, mystery, and a golden age in the Sahara Desert. But in the present day it is little more than a vaguely recognizable name - a flippant reference to "the most remote place on earth." With this fabled city as his goal, author Rick Antonson began a month-long trek. The initial plan? To get a haircut.

Aided by an adventuresome spirit, Rick endures a forty-five-hour train ride, a swindling travel agent, "third world, three-lane" roads, rivers, and a flat deck ferry boat before finally reaching Timbuktu. Rick narrates the history of this elusive destination through the teachings of his Malian guide, Zak, while also coming face-to-face with its modern-day realities: a city gripped by poverty, where historic manuscripts and treasures lie close to the sands of destruction. Both a travelogue and a history of a place long forgotten, To Timbuktu for a Haircut emerges as a plea to preserve the past and open the cultural dialogues on a global scale.

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Route 66 Still Kicks:
Driving America's Main Street

Publication Date: June 2012

Route 66 Still Kicks is an exhilarating, heartbreaking drive down a forgotten road through unknown America. Antonson and his travel nemesis, the inscrutable Peter, patiently journey 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles through eight states seeking -- and finding -- all the old parts that remain of Route 66.

This travelogue blends surprising vignettes with obscure stories about Route 66: related personalities, among them Al Capone, the Harvey Girls, Salvador Dali, Mickey Mantle, 1930s photojournalist Dorothea Lange, Cyrus Avery (the Father of Route 66), and songster Bobby Troup "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66."

Antonson's fresh perspective on the route's harsh history, its ebb and flow of popularity and viability, along with America's economic and social upheavals, underpaints a canvas of stories about the road's rise to fame, its segmenting by superhighways, and its fall from grace with the gazetteers -- and Route 66's entrenchment in legend.

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